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Turn Out on Campus Low for June Primary Election

By Ioana Patrigenaru | June 12, 2006

June primary election Tuesday at UCSD
Graduate student Steven Lau drops off his absentee ballot Tuesday at the Price Center polling station.

Students, staff and faculty turned out to vote in the June primary election Tuesday at UCSD. But turn out appeared to be low on campus, following
a statewide trend. An estimated 38 percent of California voters took part in the primary election, according to the Secretary of State office in Sacramento.

Tuesday at the Price Center, only eight of roughly 2,200 registered voters had cast their ballots by noon, said Jennifer Bateman, a political science major turned poll worker for the day. Many more came to drop off absentee ballots. Yet more cast provisional ballots, Bateman said. These voters were registered in another precinct, but chose to cast their ballot at UCSD. Their votes will be counted once election officials verify that they haven’t also voted in their home precinct, Bateman said. As of Wednesday, San Diego County’s Registrar of Voters office had about 68,500 provisional and absentee ballots left to count.

But it was already clear that state Treasurer Phil Angelides had clinched the Democratic nomination in the gubernatorial race. He will challenge Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in November’s general election. Both Democratic candidates aren’t good campaigners and would have been at a disadvantage against Schwarzenegger, said UCSD political scientist Gary Jacobson. But Angelides is perceived as less of a centrist than his defeated Democratic rival, state Controller Steve Westly and that might hurt him in his bid against the governor, Jacobson said.

“Schwarzenegger is backtracking toward the center as fast as he can,” Jacobson said.

In another statewide contest, voters rejected an initiative that would have taxed wealthier Californians to pay for universal preschool. And former California Gov. Jerry Brown is back on the statewide political stage as the Democratic nominee for Attorney General. Brown, now the mayor of Oakland, will face state Senator Chuck Poochigian, R-Frenso, in November. If he defeats Poochigian, Brown would take over an office that his father, Edmund “Pat” Brown also held before him.

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